The guys reveal the tracks that inspired their debut.

Our fave Irish indie darlings have finally dropped their debut and it’s well worth the wait. Releasing Tales from the Backseat on Friday, The Academic – made up of Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin and Matt and Stephen Murtagh – wow with their anthemic indie tracks and youthful charm.

Eager to find out just what inspired their debut, we got the lads to take us through all the songs that have been important in their lives. Tune in now…

Frank Ocean – “White Ferrari”

Craig: This is one of those songs that is so personal in its lyrics that you can literally put yourself in Frank’s shoes and feel all the emotions he’s going through. It feels like a short movie to me.

Little Anthony and The Imperials – “I’m On The Outside (Looking In)”

Craig: I’m a sucker for an old Motown gem. This track has an amazing doo-wop feel with a beautiful and dramatic vocal performance.

The Beatles – “Blue Jay Way”

Craig: This song’s got a really dark atmosphere to it that I like. It’s about John Lennon waiting for his friends to meet him at his home in LA and he seems to be getting paranoid about them not showing up. Simple and genius.

Vampire Weekend – “Hannah Hunt”

Stephen: I’m so excited for a new Vampire Weekend album. I loved their debut LP and Contra too but Modern Vampires Of The City is a real twenty first century classic for me. I think “Hannah Hunt” is Ezra at his best. The vocal is beautiful and it’s probably one of the the most mature Vampire Weekend songs lyrically.

Van Morrison – “Sweet Thing”

Stephen: My desert island song. Astral Weeks is probably my desert island album too. Lyrically “Sweet Thing” is stupidly good, even by Van the man’s standards. The nature and the innocence, it’s pure bliss. My favourite song.

Björk – “Hyperballad”

Stephen: I think everyone has one artist that they start listening to way later than they should have. That’s Bjork for me. I listened to “Hyperballad” most days on our last US tour. It’s completely hypnotic and slightly unnerving too. But I can never stop listening. There’s a version of “Post Live” that’ll absolutely floor you. She’s incredible.

Spoon – “Written in Reverse”

Matt: I love how dissonant and minimal this is. It reminds me of “Cold Turkey” era John Lennon. The vocals are super raw and almost jokey. Some nice sonic surprises too. Classic Spoon!

Deerhunter – “Desire Lines”

Matt: I really got into this band through listening to stuff like Bauhaus and Interpol. It’s got a great dreamy feel and the lyrically it’s very nostalgic to me.

American Football – “Honestly?”

Matt: Halfway through the song completely switches up and goes into a very emotive instrumental section that’s just gorgeous. This band in general were a big guitar influence for me, songs like “Never Meant” do a great job of mixing math rock time signatures with super confessional lyrics.

Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”

Dean: If you’re a drummer, you know. If you’re not a drummer, you know.

U2 – “13 (There is a Light)”

Dean: From U2’s latest album, it’s just a beautifully written song. I particularly love how intimate the song gets as it draws you in deeper with the almost underwater drum and bass sound growing more hypnotising while the accompaniment becomes more minimal as the song progresses.

The Killers – “For Reasons Unknown”

Dean: One of my favourite songs from one of my favourite bands who I give a lot of inspirational credit to. Still love listening to Sam’s Town occasionally even if it is almost 12 years old.


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